Just to keep you all up-to-date, this trip is very intense and opportunities for blogging, especially with the connectivity issues here in Kibugat, are few and far between. No matter how much we plan, everything starts late and over runs and there are always many locals who want to spend time with you, offering hospitality, showing us there school, dispensary, homes…….you complete the list ;-). We will continue to blog but please be advised that we can only post when we get the opportunity to and photos will be uploaded when we get to an Internet Cafe. As a result our blogs are running well behind our actual schedule. The next part of the blog picks up from where I left off in the previous post in Ruiru, when in fact we are on our last but one day in Kibugat before moving on to Nyangoma (Kisumu). Ok with that in mind I will finish the report back on the 2nd day in Ruiru.
Previous post continued………
As it transpired Willice Okoth from the International Youth Council (one of our partners) had arranged meetings with both the Assistant Minister of Nairobi Metropolitan Development, Elizabeth Onoro Masha (MP), at 11 am and with the Commissioner from the National Council of Integration and Cohesion (NCIC) at 2pm. Now under normal circumstances this would not have been a problem although when Edward Kibosek and I left Ruiru at 10 am we had only been expecting the 11 am meeting.
We decided to travel into Nairobi by matutu (the local transport system which are basically mini-buses in various states of repair that don’t go anywhere until packed to the rafters……then off you go!). This was because Hollie and her group had arranged some very interesting interviews including one with the gender-based violence officer at the Police Department. We thought it safer for the girls to make use of our driver and mini-bus especially as they were carrying filming equipment with them.
The meeting with the Minister was very productive and we are hopeful that we will secure her support for future plans. We left with some useful advice about gaining access to other influential people interested in Peace. In return we extended her an invitation to address the next 3rd International Conference on ICT4Development that we are seeking to organise.
After a reflective lunch we headed off to the offices of NCIC – by this time the girls had finished with our driver and he was racing around Nairobi trying to catch up with us as we walked in the direction of where we were told the offices were. Soon after he found us we found ourselves stuck in mid town traffic and getting later and later. We arrived only to find that NCIC had moved, so we turned back around into even worse mid town traffic on the quest to find the new offices. By this time, of course, we were very late and our would be host had had to leave for other business. We are hoping to reschedule for when we are back in Nairobi although it would have been helpful if they’d have thought about sharing the knowledge that they’d moved 😉
Of course all of this meant we were now deep into late afternoon and the first part of the trip out of Nairobi back to Ruiru required us to negotiate Nairobi rush hour traffic – one of the most eye opening and nerve chilling vehicular experience you can experience, in my opinion.
Although we were able to stay in touch with the girls via local mobiles, I was concerned that I wasn’t there to help or offer advice. We arrived back in Ruiru to find that – although a little stressed by dealing with the software problems and the need to think on there feet and find alternatives paths to achieving the workshop goals – the girls had performed like troopers with all the groups benefiting from their enthusiasm , expertise and general sense of elan. Edward and I decided to take them out to dinner, just we 5, so they could debrief and unwind whilst eating the most delicious goat washed down with the obligatory Tuskers or two before a well deserved night’s sleep……..Day 3 to be continued.